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Homework: Nonprofit seed libraries don't require license

| Thursday, March 17, 2016, 8:55 p.m.

Nonprofit, community-based seed libraries in Pennsylvania are not subject to the licensing, labeling and testing required of commercial seed distributors in the Seed Act of 2004, according to a clarification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

A statewide coalition — led by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Grow Pittsburgh, the Public Interest Law Center and members of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council — worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to clarify the Seed Act.

The act was originally applied to a seed library at the Joseph T. Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg, which severely limited its operations.

The number of seed libraries has surged in recent years. According to the Association for Sustainable Agriculture, there are an estimated 26 seed libraries across the Commonwealth, with more than 350 nationwide.

Westmoreland Cleanways takes TVs from any county

Westmoreland Cleanways Recycling Center in Unity is still accepting televisions in its recycling program.

Many waste collection companies and recycling centers have discontinued picking up televisions because of restrictions in the state Covered Device Recycling Act, which went into effect in 2013.

“We and our recycling partner, JVS Environmental, are committed to serving our communities with a convenient recycling option for your unwanted electronics, as the law intended,” said Ellen Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways. “We have the support of our county commissioners and other funders to keep the program alive. Everyone is welcome; you don't have to be a resident of Westmoreland County to recycle with us.”

Located in Innovative Park near Beatty Crossroads, the recycling center is open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to noon the second Saturday of every month to accept televisions and all other electronics at no charge. The recycling center accepts Freon appliances, tires and fluorescent tube light bulbs for a fee. Scrap metal, used motor oil, batteries of all kinds, cardboard and mixed paper can be recycled at no charge.

Details: 724-879-4020 or westmorelandcleanways.org

Where's Doug?

• On March 19, Doug Oster, Tribune-Review home and garden editor, is presenting “Growing Everything Organically (Including Roses)” at 1:30 p.m. at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. Oster will cover soil preparation, planting tips and gardening without chemicals. The event is free, open to the public and no registration is required. It is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Rose Society and the Mt. Lebanon Garden tour committee. The library is at 16 Castle Shannon Blvd.

Details: 412-531-1912 or mtlebanonlibrary.org

• Oster will host an exclusive tour of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Spring Flower Show, “Masterpieces in Bloom,” led by exhibit coordinator Jordyn Melino on March 20. He also will take participants to the Hunt Institute for Botanic Documentation on the same day to see the current exhibit, “Great Expectations.” Visitors will tour the exhibit with curator Lugene Bruno. The only cost is the price of admission to Phipps. Registration is required.

Details: blog.triblive.com/dougoster

— Staff and wire reports

Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email sjones@tribweb.com.

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